Rum & pecan mini fruit cakes

Now is the perfect time to get ahead for the celebrations and fill the kitchen with seasonal aromas by making indulgent treats to gift

Rum & pecan mini fruit cakes

by Liz O'Keefe |

Makes 4 x approximately 435g cakes

zest and juice of 2 oranges

600g mixed fruit, reserving

some for decoration

200g good-quality glacé cherries, reserving some for decoration

150ml dark rum, plus extra for feeding

200g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

200g soft brown sugar

2 eggs

200g plain flour

2 tbsp mixed spice

50g pecan halves, roughly chopped, reserving some halves for decoration

50g marzipan, cubed

4 x 10cm round cake tins

baking paper

The day before planning to bake, combine the orange zest and juice with the mixed fruit, cherries and dark rum in a large bowl. Cover and leave to soak overnight, stirring occasionally when possible.

The next day, in a separate large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together for 2-3 mins until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then fold in the flour and mixed spice. Stir in the pecans, marzipan and the soaked fruit, including the liquid. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas mark 3 and grease and double line the cake tins with baking paper. Divide the mixture between the tins and flatten out the tops with a spatula. Decorate the tops with the extra mixed fruit, cherries and pecans.

Bake for 11/2 hrs, then turn the oven to 120°C/100°C/gas mark 1/2 and bake for 1 hr until an inserted metal skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool completely, then remove the tins and one layer of baking paper. If making several weeks in advance, make three incisions in the top of the cake, then drip in 2 tbsp of dark rum with a teaspoon every two weeks.

More recipes for a delicious festive hamper are in the November 2021 issue of LandScape magazine...

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